Archives: Voices

A Reminder: SNAP Users are People, too 

I began working at Fresh Market the fall of my senior year, in the heart of the pandemic. Every day, I would go to work, scanning and bagging the groceries of whoever came into my line. Occasionally, the flow of checkout would ebb. Sometimes, I was to blame—I pushed the wrong button, double scanned an item, or couldn’t quite figure out exactly what kind of apples my customer wanted to purchase. Other times, it was something out of my control: the customer input the wrong pin, or they left their wallet in the car. One thing that always stopped the flow was the use of EBT cards.

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, March 31, 2023

The Medicaid unwinding edition. Early in the pandemic, Congress gave states more Medicaid money to address COVID-19. In return, states were not allowed to drop people from their Medicaid rolls. That ends tomorrow. Beginning April 1, five states – Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, New Hampshire, and South Dakota – will start ending Medicaid coverage for those who have not demonstrated their continued eligibility. Almost every other state will follow in May, June, or July. And by roughly one year from now, millions will have lost access to health care.

On ACA’s 13th anniversary, White House launches two-pronged approach to defend it 

President Biden joined past and present leaders in Congress and health care advocates throughout the country this week in marking the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The White House’s celebration of the ACA’s birthday on Thursday was a two-pronged effort that focused both on the law’s success – more Americans have access to health care than ever before – and on threats to its well-being

Will Congress Take This Opportunity to Fight for Workers? The Reintroduction of the PRO Act 

“The union is not some third-party entity that makes decisions for people, the union is the workers.” This is what the vice president of a local union in Orlando, Florida told me the first time I met him as he recruited me to help the food service workers at my private college in a wealthy suburb of Orlando. Prior to meeting him, I knew nothing about unions and was in the dark about the way the college’s food supplier treated its workers.

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, March 17, 2023

The show us your budget edition. President Budget released his budget proposal last week. Broadly speaking, it is based on four values: lowering costs for families, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, investing in America, and reducing the deficit, all made possible by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations pay more of their fair share. 

Much of Biden’s federal budget proposal is what we all need 

Biden’s commonsense budget proposal takes strong moves forward to level the grossly unequal economic playing field in this country. It shores up tattered programs for poor, low-income, and middle-income American families, no matter what we look like or where we live. As an expression of values, its proposals to invest in families and workers,  protect Social Security and strengthen Medicare reflect the values of most of us. 

Congress must protect child care services. Workers cannot be in two places at once. 

Every weekday during the semester, I wake up by 8 a.m. to get ready for class at my small, primarily white, liberal arts college in the wealthy Orlando suburb that is Winter Park. Once I step out of my apartment, my first destination is the on-campus café where I pick up my Chai Latte on the way to class. The young woman that works the morning shift on weekdays knows all of us students by name and always remembers my order. Despite all that she does to make my campus a welcoming environment for me, I had never considered what it was like for her as a food service worker at a private university. It wasn’t until I learned of a union organizing effort among cafeteria workers that I realized the need for reform. 

President Biden’s FY 2024 budget: An evidence-based investment in reversing and reducing America’s drug epidemic 

A 26-year-old man with severe open wounds on both legs is injecting fentanyl three days a day. A 22-year-old woman injection drug user just found out her boyfriend with whom she shares needles tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C. Two 14-year-old boys in Utah buy online what they think is Adderall; the counterfeit pills are really fentanyl and they die within hours after swallowing the pills. Americans saw 110,315 fatal drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending in March 2022 — 294 deaths per day.